LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers activated closer Kenley Jansen from the disabled list on Friday, nearly three full months after surgery to remove a bone growth in his left foot. To make room for Jansen, the Dodgers optioned Daniel Coulombe back to Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Jansen completed a six-game minor league rehab assignment with Class-A Rancho Cucamonga on Wednesday night. The original plan was to activate him on Saturday, but manager Don Mattingly left wiggle room open for Friday.
Yimi Garcia allowed a three-run home run to Carlos Gonzalez in the ninth inning in Thursday's loss to the Rockies, the second blown save for Garcia in four days. Adam Liberatore and Chris Hatcher combined to allow two of the three runs in the seventh inning in a loss to the Marlins.
The return of Jansen seems especially opportune now, especially with Pedro Baez being placed on the disabled list with a right pectoral strain.
Even with the setbacks this week, the Dodgers bullpen has been a strength this season, fourth in the majors in ERA (2.24), second in strikeouts (121), first in strikeout rate (28.5%), third in strikeout-to-walk ratio (3.18), second in K-BB% (19.6%), first in FIP (2.34) and second in xFIP (3.12).
In actual save opportunities (in other words, not including blown leads in the seventh or eighth inning in appearances that were in no way real save chances), the Dodgers converted six of nine save chances (66.7%) in Jansen's absence.
Last year, Jansen converted 44 of 49 save chances (89.8%).
Jansen is expected to pitch in a relatively low-leverage situation in his first one or two appearances, but manager Don Mattingly said there is no confusion about the closer role.
"In the situation we're in, guys are throwing the ball good. Kenley, in his words hasn't pitched in a major league game in a long time. It's going to make him more comfortable [to be eased in]," Mattingly said on Wednesday. "He's going to be the closer, there is no question about that."
Coulombe was recalled on Thursday when Baez was placed on the disabled list, but the left-hander did not pitch. In two stints with the Dodgers this season, Coulombe has allowed one run in one inning in his one appearance.